HC Deb 02 April 1941 vol 370 cc989-90
31. Commander Bower

asked the Minister of Transport what are the functions of the Public Relations Officer in his Department; what is the salary attached to the office; and how this salary compares with that of officers holding similar offices in other Government Departments?

Mr. Montague

The function of the Public Relations Officer is to explain and interpret to the public the nature and necessity of the steps taken in the Department and by the organisations acting under my right hon. Friend's control or direction to secure the best use of transport for the war effort. In this way, the fullest measure of co-operation by all concerned is obtained. The salaries paid to Public Relations Officers throughout the Service vary considerably, as do, so I understand, the duties and responsibilities attaching to the office. The salary attached to the office in the Department is £1,700.

Commander Bower

Will my hon. Friend explain in what respects his relations with the public have so deteriorated as to necessitate the appointment of an officer in receipt of a salary so much in excess of that paid by other Departments to similar officers?

Mr. Montague

It is not true that it is in excess of the salary paid in any other Department. With regard to a Public Relations Officer, the House will realise that transport is exceedingly important and publicity attached to the subject is important at the present moment.